Lions on prowl for donations

POULSBO – They don’t do it often. So, when the blue vested Poulsbo Noon Lions hit the streets of Little Norway asking for money, residents can be assured it’s for an important cause.

This Friday and Saturday, many of the club’s 65 members will be out in the community with the aim of raising funds and awareness to support the Northwest Lions Foundation for Sight & Hearing (NLFSH). The annual White Cane Days, member Sandy Dahlquist said, will be held in Poulsbo at Alberstons, Central Market, the U.S. Post Office “and just about anywhere else we can think to go.”

“This is the only fund raiser where we go out and ask for donations,” she added.

Through White Cane Days, the Noon Lions and the NLFSH assist children with sight and hearing problems. During the past 36 years, the two, supporting the Northwest Lions Eye Bank, have provided more than 28,000 sight-restoring cornea transplants.

“The proceeds from White Cane Days provide money for their day-to-day operations,” Dahlquist said of the eye bank, which was founded by the Bremerton Lions.

Funds raised this year are expected to go a long way, too. The 2005 goal for Lions clubs in Washington and Idaho is to provide sight and hearing services to 100,000 children. While that might seem lofty, the local organization has a track record of going above and beyond the call of duty and will do its part, Dahlquist said. In 2003, the Noon Lions purchased a cornea transporting vehicle for the eye bank. Last year, she estimated that the civic organization raised anywhere from $4,000-$5,000.

“We’d like to double that or more,” she

added. “It’s really important to the club and we’re hoping everyone will open their checkbooks and pocketbooks.”

The two-day effort will also allow residents to see “Lions in uniform,” as Dahlquist put it, showing off her pin-laden vest. At the same time, it will provide a chance for the public to see just who in their community is involved in the Noon Lions.

“Most of us will be out and about,” she remarked. “Just look for the vest.”

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